Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

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I couldn’t tell you how long it’s been since I last posted a recipe, but I knew it had been a while when my cousin in South Carolina emailed me asking me if I had died. Obviously she was joking, but it made me realize just how long its been. I never have a good excuse. It’s always work. This new position is great for me professionally, but it is so much more time consuming. By the time I get home at night and work out, the last thing I want to do is come up with a new recipe. What I want to do even less than create something new is make sure that I take enough pictures and document my measurements so I can blog about it later. So TJ has been stuck eating the same old meals every week, and I have absolutely no creative outlet. Basically everyone loses. Including the four people who read this blog regularly and actually want new recipes. Whoops.

I’m really excited football season is back. Because football being back means fall is here, and I LOVE fall. But I also love football. Actually, I only really like the Redskins and Gamecocks and I really don’t care about watching any other games. The really crappy part is that TJ hates football. He couldn’t care less about it and actually thinks how much I love it is absurd. He has some lame argument about not liking a sport I have never and will never play, but I refuse to entertain that “argument.” So while I watch football he usually does stuff like redesign our entire bathroom or build a new dresser for our guest bedroom (he actually did that this weekend). To each his own, right?

Besides the great weather, clothes and and candles (sorry but certain candles can only be burned in fall/winter), fall also brings great food. Some foods just don’t feel right in the warmer months. Like chili. I LOVE chili and I have a great recipe for it, but I just doesn’t feel right in the summer. And butternut squash soup. That’s more of a fall dish to me. Maybe I’m wrong but its my blog, so whatever.

On that note of all of the fall greatness, I really want to get into pumpkin stuff, but I just can’t. I don’t like pumpkin spice lattes, I don’t enjoy pumpkin bread, I don’t really feel the desire to add pumpkin to my diet at all. I know people go bat shit crazy for pumpkin everything at this time of year, but outside of carving a crappy pumpkin to leave on our front stoop, I don’t really want pumpkin in my life. Sorry ’bout it.

So the point of all of this endless rambling is that this soup is one of the best fall/football dishes ever. It’s GREAT for those football watching days when chili just doesn’t sound/feel right. It’s also great anytime, just in case you’re not a football fan. Or an emotional cooker. Which, judging by this blog post, I am. Epiphany.

salsa

I make this avocado salsa while I was waiting for my soup to cook and ended up topping the soup with it too. I will post the recipe soon!

Ingredients:

2 lbs raw chicken breasts. I used 4 breasts, but up to 6 will really work here.

1 cup chicken broth. I use water and a bouillon cube, but kudos to you if you make your own chicken stock. I wish I did.

1 yellow onion, chopped.

2 jalapenos, chopped.

2 garlic cloves, chopped.

2 cans diced tomatoes. To stay paleo, get canned tomatoes with no added sugar, or chop your own. I like canned because it adds a lot to the oveall soup.

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1 lime, sliced for squeezing

1/2 avocado, sliced for topping

Directions:

Put the first 6 ingredients in a crock pot and let simmer for 6 hours. My crock pot actually doesn’t take that long, so let it cook for as long as it takes for chicken to shred in your crock pot. I have a crock pot on speed, so I was able to shred the chicken after 5 hours.

Once the chicken is ready, shred it put it back in the soup and top with the remaining ingredients! I use very little cilantro as I think it’s a bit strong, but I also add some sour cream (not paleo) and cheese (primal). You can do whatever you want to make this soup your own, but it is just as DELICIOUS with nothing but the lime juice added!

 

Crispy Crust Cauliflower Pizza

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Nice alliteration for the name of this post, right? Right.

Ok, I know. It’s been like.. a stupid long time since I last posted a recipe. Excuses suck, but I have a some for you anyways. 1. I got a new job (with the same company) and I started last Monday. I have WAY less downtime, and I’m beyond exhausted when I get home. That = no new recipes and even when I do come up with something new, no energy to post about them. 2. I went to Kentucky last week to visit the Jim Beam and Makers Mark Distilleries. I can’t lie, that was awesome. I’ll post more about that with pictures at another time. When I got back I was so busy getting ready for the work week and seeing my mom who was in town for the weekend that I didn’t do much else.

And then (this is excuse number 4, if you’re counting), yesterday we got the most rain we have gotten since 1955 (apparently) and our garage flooded. Our two car garage that is a actually a gym. With 18, 100 pound stall mats covering the floor, and thousands of pounds in weights and equipment on top of that. You can imagine the fun of cleaning that out, letting it dry, and putting every single thing back. Granted, TJ did a lot of it alone while I was at work today. But I still helped put everything back after we worked out tonight. We only JUST moved the entire gym like 3 weeks ago. It was fun to do it all over again so soon.

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That’s our back yard. FULL of rain. Which led to..

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A garage gym. FULL of 3 inches of water.

I just realized I don’t think I’ve even posted about the gym being done. That’s pretty bad, because that was a little while ago now. I’m going to need to post about that too, because it is the one thing that actually makes my life EASIER right now.

I go to the Outer Banks this Friday for a full week (can you spot the preemptive excuse that will come next week here?) with my boyfriends family and I couldn’t be more excited. Seriously. I got to go on an amazing vacation last year, but this one will be SO relaxing. We won’t be rushing around, sightseeing, and going, going, going. That’s how my family trips usually are. And that’s fine because we get to see so much, but sometimes you just need to do nothing for a week. And that is exactly what I plan on doing. Luckily, since I am so new to my position/territory, there shouldn’t (fingers crossed) be too much work/emergencies that I’ll have to handle while I’m gone.

Ok, now to this recipe. Remember that one time I told you that when TJ is hungover, he likes to eat kind of crappy? And that I like to let him eat crappy, but in a better way? Like with kale chip nachos? No, you don’t remember? I don’t either, but I swear I did at some point. Well, this weekend he announced he wanted pizza. After eating his crabs, that we caught in our own crab pots. Which I also can’t believe I haven’t written about yet. God, I suck at blogging this summer.

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Here is a pretty picture of a passing storm that I took while TJ checked our crab pots to make up for my lack of posting lately.

Anyways, I decided I would finally try cauliflower pizza. They were inspired by cauliflower breadsticks that I made a long time ago. I couldn’t find a recipe that I really liked, so I just made one up. You can too. Seriously. I made pesto sauce yesterday for absolutely no reason other than I was craving it, so while I was stuffing chicken with it tonight, it dawned on me that pesto would make a PERFECT substitute for pizza sauce in this recipe. I’m pretty pumped to try that out for myself actually. Don’t go stealing my ideas now. Don’t you do it. Ok fine, do it.

Ingredients:

 

1 egg

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper

1/4 tsp oregano

1/2 can/jar of sugar free pizza sauce

Cheese, of your choice, if you’re primal or don’t care about eating dairy

Toppings, again of your choice. I did: spinach, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, garlic, cheese (mozeralla), bacon crumbles and chopped broccoli.

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 450 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. If you have a pizza stone, by all means use that. I don’t, so I just used a lame old cookie sheet.

Grate or food process your cauliflower the same way you would make rice. Put it in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 4 minutes. If you don’t microwave, sorry. I don’t know what to tell you. That’s how I cooked mine, but I’m pretty sure it can be boiled on the stove as well. Once it is done, dump the cooked cauliflower onto a clean tea or dish towel and let it cool. Once it has cooled a bit, wrap up your rice in your towel and squeeze the hell out of it. The goal is to remove a lot of the moisture. I probably squeezed 1/3-1/2 a cup of water from it. Don’t get too finicky here, just try to get as much out as you can. Once it is fairly dry, dump it into a bowl, add the egg and spices and mix it really well with your hands. Once it is uniform, dump your “dough” onto your preferred baking apparatus and press it out slowly until it forms a crust. Mine looked like this:

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Yes, there is some yellow in there. Yes, I added some cheese to my crust as well. Yes, it will work just as well without that cheese.

Pop your crust into the oven for about 11 minutes, or until it is brown. You don’t need to flip your crust. Once it is nice and crisp, take it out and add your pizza sauce and chosen ingredients.

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Mine, pre baking.

Once you’ve done that, pop it back into the oven until all of your cheese is nice and bubbly; or if you are going cheese-less, until your vegetables are cooked. Knowing when your pizza is done is a pretty easy eye-test. I think mine cooked at 450 for about 15 minutes or so, but every oven is a little different.

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Then, ENJOY!

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You would never know this wasn’t real pizza. And the crust held all of the toppings so well! (Pardon my manicure. Nail and cuticle biting is a horrible stress-induced habit)

Bacon, Egg and Spinach Breakfast Wraps

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Oh breakfast. I hate breakfast. I have SUCH a hard time eating in the morning. Even when it isn’t first thing in the morning. Meaning I can wake up, shower, get ready for work (which takes between 30-45 minutes depending on what’s happening with my hair) and still not want to eat anything. I know how important that meal is, but I really have a hard time forcing that food down my throat. One way I’ve really helped myself is by forgetting about “typical” breakfast foods. I don’t like eggs very much, especially when you can taste them. Usually I will grab some leftovers from the night before and try to eat as much of that as possible. Once you get past the fact that you’re eating chicken salad or spaghetti squash pizza casserole at 9 am, it’s much more tolerable for me. I also love meal prepping with egg muffins because they are super quick to grab. Continue reading

Shredded Chicken with Crack Sauce

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Yup, you read the right: crack sauce. I am obsessed with making shredded chicken. Maybe because it means I can just put random crap in the crock pot and when I get home, dinner is ready. Maybe its because I really like shredded chicken. Whatever the reason, I make it at least once a week. Since I make it so often, I usually try to find different ways to spice it up or flavor it so we don’t get really sick of it. Sometimes I’ll make shredded buffalo chicken cups, sometimes I make chicken salad. This time, I decided to finally try making paleo BBQ dressing. Continue reading

Favorite Recipe Round Up

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This picture is from buffalo chicken pasta that I made last week. I take absolutely no credit for this recipe whatsoever. I used Juli Baur’s recipe and changed nothing. Actually, that’s a lie. I actually used 1/2 as much mayo as her recipe calls for, I used Frank’s Hot Sauce rather than Tessemae’s and I added bacon on top. But other than that, everything is the exact same. It’s so good, there is no reason to change a THING about it. Continue reading

Sbarro’s Inspired Pepperoni Stromboli

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Confession: I didn’t use to eat very well. Actually, I just never thought about what I was putting into my body and more specifically how my body was reacting. I used to eat a lot of bread and pasta (although I think I blame that on being French) and it never made me feel good. Besides the fact that my digestive system didn’t love what I was eating, my whole body was sluggish and felt gross. I never really realized the importance of meat being a part of every meal, and I didn’t eat a huge variety vegetables. Continue reading

Buffalo Garlic Brussels Sprouts

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I love Brussels sprouts. Like, could eat them daily love them. They are definitely something I didn’t learn to appreciate and love until I was well into my mid-twenties, but now that I know how to cook them, we will never stop eating them.

Luckily for me, TJ loves them just as much as I do, so we pretty much DO eat them daily. Luckily for both of us, they are incredibly good for you. Unluckily for both of us, I always made them the same way. As good as that recipe is. it can get kind of boring after a while. Finally, I decided to try out something different. I love Brussels sprouts, but I also love wings and buffalo sauce. Why oh why did I never think to combine those two things? Continue reading

Creamy Kale Salad

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I have literally so many recipes I want to share right now, I just wish I had the time to write the posts for each one! At least you will have something to look forward to, since I know everyone waits for my posts with baited breath. In case curiosity is killing you, or you just need a reason to check back for recipes, here’s what I have in the works: paleo calzones (with NO bread), staying paleo when traveling (mainly roadtripping), apple and onion pork burgers (which are what is topping the kale salad in the picture above), sundried tomato and pesto stuffed chicken, as well as a few more that I am working on this week. Continue reading

Spaghetti Pomodoro

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Have you ever had one of those days where literally nothing goes your way? Today is that day for me. My day started at 5:40 am (WAY early for me) to do a pretty substantial favor for a family member. I agreed to do this favor based solely on the fact that I could get it done early and it wouldn’t interrupt my work day in any way, shape or form.
In the midst of doing this favor, I completely blew out a tire. Continue reading